Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas, in office since 2005, could have ended his political life with a poor record, but not completely ashamed. By passing the hand on the occasion of the presidential election announced for the month of July, the octogenarian would have gone down in history as a dull leader, without stature, but who did not surrender. Who stood firm against the annexationist activities of the Trump-Netanyahu duo.
This epitaph, Mahmoud Abbas, known as “Abu Mazen”, no longer deserves it. By canceling the series of spring and summer elections at the end of April – the first for fifteen years – and by launching in the wake of the war in Gaza, in May, a violent wave of political repression, the president Palestinian lost what little honor he had left.
The stain that stains the legacy of Mahmoud Abbas has a name: Nizar Banat. This forty-something, father of five, who attacked on Facebook the growing authoritarianism of Yasser Arafat’s successor, was beaten to death on June 24 by Palestinian police officers who came to arrest him. The demonstrations of anger that followed were brutally suppressed by members of the security forces operating in civilian clothes.
By his stubborn refusal to give up his place, Abbas, the apparatchik of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) made famous in 1991 by the Oslo peace accords, of which he was the designer and the signatory on the Palestinian side. , turned into an autocrat caricature. A despot clinging to an illusory power, since the PA is a state apparatus without a State, an entity under occupation.
This crude tactic, intended to make people believe in a whiff of inter-Palestinian violence, is reminiscent of the actions of the chabbiha, the henchmen of the Assad regime. The harassment, sometimes of a sexual nature, of which several female protesters and journalists were victims, evokes attacks against women in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the epicenter of the uprising against the Egyptian raïs Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Calamitous end of career
Admittedly, Abu Mazen had the bad luck that his extended mandate, which he should have called into play in 2009, largely coincides with the reign of Benjamin Netanyahu, ousted by his rivals in mid-June, after twelve years in power. Hostile to any serious peace negotiation, the former Israeli prime minister has never treated his Palestinian neighbor except with contempt, notably by intensifying the colonization of the West Bank.
In response, Abbas appealed to the International Criminal Court, which will likely remain as his only success. But he could have done much more, in particular bridging the rift between the West Bank, in the hands of his party, Fatah, and the Gaza Strip, conquered by the Islamists of Hamas in 2007. But, since that date, the old leader n has not set foot once in the coastal enclave, yet the target of multiple Israeli offensives.
Locked in the Mouqata’a, his palace in Ramallah, from which he only leaves for futile tours abroad, the PA boss behaves as if Gaza was no longer part of Palestine. By suspending the elections indefinitely, he torpedoed the process of reconciliation with Hamas and prevented an absolutely vital revival of Palestinian institutions. His calamitous end of his career made the bed for the Israeli occupier. The man from Oslo, supposed to preside over the liberation of the Palestinian people, has become an obstacle to it. Mr. Abbas, it’s time to go.